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COVID-19 and Social Distancing: What Landlords Should Know

Until this day, there is still no way to stop the pandemic once and for all. There is no vaccine and cure yet. But there is a way to slow down its spread and that is through social distancing. Although the virus is proven to be highly fatal among elders, and people with pre-existing conditions and weak immune systems, the real risk is among individuals who show little to no symptoms.

As a landlord, social distancing and self-quarantine benefit your business. When you have no idea who is infected and who's not, remaining indoors is the best option. Encouraging the observation of social distances to your tenants, you’re already helping them to stay healthy. This way, they can pay rent on time by not getting sick. Not to mention the costs of disinfecting your personal home and rental property.

Going Virtual With Property Showings

The issue of filling vacancies is hot this time. Providing a tour can increase the risk of infection on you, the prospective tenant, and property contamination. This is where virtual reality and a virtual tour comes in and here’s how. With VT, it’s so much easier to showcase your property. Narrations and audio can be included as well to answer repetitive questions via replay. 

If a tenant is moving out and another is reserved to fill-in, ask your tenant to take pictures of your property. This way, you can use this as both for documentation and a piece of evidence of the current condition of the property for your next tenant.

But what about tenant screening? It will be harder to do that without personal interaction, but it still matters. Ask your applicant to provide the necessary information and check the provided data through the links here: Tenant Verification, Criminal Background Check, and Eviction Records.

Social Distancing Tools for Staying Connected with Tenants

Show your care and keep their spirits up by reassuring your tenants that this will all be over in time. Check on them regularly and remind them to stay indoors with these programs and apps.

  • PayPal - For collecting rent and receiving payments via wire transfer.
  • FaceTime - For video call and mobile if you have Apple products.
  • Skype - For video chats on all platforms (Android, Windows, Mac, and IOS).
  • WhatsApp - Texting, voice messaging, and document sharing for both IOS and Android
  • Zoom - Free web browser-based extension tool for both audio and video calls.

Handling Property Maintenance and Repairs

For minor maintenance and repairs

  • Use the tools above as a preliminary assessment platform on what action is needed.
  • Determine first whether the issue can be resolved by your tenant alone with instructions via audio or video call.
  • If this option is viable, proceed by explaining the procedure.

For essential maintenance and repairs

  • Send a maintenance team
  • Going yourself is also a good option. However, Ask your tenants to maintain social distance and stay in another room when services are undergoing.
  • Whoever is performing the repairs, make sure protective gear such as gloves, protective mask, and boots are worn.
  • Require the removal of shoes before entering the rented property.
  • Request your tenants to provide a bleach footbath for entering parties.

Before taking action regarding property maintenance and repairs, make sure to follow all CDC guidelines. Consult with local health authorities as well.

You can still continue your business amidst the pandemic and a lot of online tools make this possible. Make sure to get familiar with the use of different apps to utilize them well. Remember to always stay safe indoors. Practice social distancing by avoiding to deal directly with current and prospective tenants.

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!